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June 30th 1916 - Letter from George Sladden to his father, Julius Sladden

30th June 1916
Correspondence From
George Sladden, In France
Correspondence To
Julius Sladden, Seward House, Badsey
Relationship to Letter Addressee
Text of Letter

In France

30 June 1916

My dear Father

If leave hadn’t been stopped I should probably have been with you now. I was warned (most unexpectedly) on the afternoon of Wednesday, that I was to go next day, and right on the heels of the advice came another cancelling of leave. I have not the slightest idea how long the stoppage will last; no doubt that depends upon the trend of events. I really hadn’t time to be disappointed. It is when one has made arrangements and informed people at home that sudden stoppage of leave becomes really maddening.

I am returning Cyril’s second and extremely interesting letter. How enjoyable it must be to have the relief of being out of the Censor’s clutches! Never again shall I grudge the money I spent on stamps: if censorship is the price of free passage I think the price is exorbitant.

I have excellent news of Rosie. She likes her new work though she tells me she finds the “rush” hours rather trying, for she naturally feels afraid of making mistakes when working fast on a job with which she is yet unfamiliar. In addition to part of the ledger work she is in charge of the petty cash and the stationery stores. The firm seems to be a fair sized one; they have an office staff of between a dozen and twenty and of course, travellers and warehouse hands besides. They do an import and export trade in cotton and various fancy goods. They seem to be quite up to date in their methods, though not to the extent of elaborately clocking the exits and entrances of their workers, so that life in the office is quite pleasant. Especially after the unbroken rigidity of a Telephone Exchange, for instance; they have an hour for lunch, but if they exceed the time now and again it is not looked on as a capital offence.

We have had a beastly patch of weather and there is still a strong wind blowing which threatens more rain. However, today is brighter and perhaps the clouds will lift and disperse. I hope so for more reasons than our own comfort. Such wet weather is not good for military operations.

I haven’t seen an English paper for a couple of days, but the last news all showed that things were going well on all sides for the Allies. There is bound to be, I think, a check in the Russian operations before much progress is made. As Garvin drily remarked in last Sunday’s Observer, “No one has yet invented a method of transporting heavy artillery by aeroplane.” I suppose public opinion at home is a good deal more comforted than it was a couple of months ago. It certainly is in France. They never become so utterly despondent here as our pessimists in England. On the other hand, the most optimistic authorities in the most optimistic bar in the most optimistic house in England never attain the pitch of hopefulness that is reached by the merely average French civilian when news is bright! They are all quite happy now in the conviction that the War will be over by September. If one expresses the opinion that the World will still be at war in 1917, one is met with very kindly but severe reproaches: and not a particle of belief.

If my coming home takes place it will probably take place very suddenly. You are not likely to get warning earlier than by wire from Folkestone. I shall probably try and see Rosie as I pass through London and then come straight down to you to spend the first part of the leave at Badsey. I wish Rosie could have been long enough at her new job so that I could have brought her down to Badsey for the week.

I expect the garden keeps you busy now and it must be looking at its best. Perhaps I shall be lucky enough to see it before it goes off.

Love to all from
Your affectionate son

Letter Images
Type of Correspondence
Envelope containing 2 sheets of notepaper
Location of Document
Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service
Record Office Reference